Monday, July 20, 2009

Agony and Ecstasy

“ … nothing more often disappoints the ear than a sentence solemnly and sonorously prepared, and hastily and weakly finished.” -- Robert Louis Stevenson in The Art of Writing.
I finished a short short on Wednesday and submitted it to Staccato Fiction. It’d been six weeks since I wrote the first draft. In my early revisions, I'd concentrated on plot and characters. I spent the last day looking carefully at each paragraph, sentence, and word. I read the story out loud to hear and feel the rhythm. This story had me baffled.

I changed words and added or deleted phrases to adjust the cadence. I put the story down and let it marinate for an hour before reading it out loud again. Still, one sentence, didn’t feel right.

Finally, I decided I’d created as good a story as was in me. I prepared the text for submission according to the publication’s guidelines and sent it off. I should hear back by September as to whether it will be accepted or not. If it isn’t, I may know why. Ah, the agony and ecstasy of being a writer.

3 comments:

bigtumtums said...

Wow... I commend your passion and perseverance in turning your ambition to reality.

As much as I may daydream, I haven't done much of extensive fiction in writing... my works are more into narratives.

Thank you for sharing your journey.

Jim Harrington said...

Thanks, bigtumtums.

Jim Harrington said...

Well, that didn't take long. The story was rejected. It's about a woman grieving over the death of her son. The editor liked the writing, but wanted to know more about the present life of the character. The point of the story was that she didn't have a life until she came to the realization that it was time to move on and start a new life. I submitted the story to another publication.